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    • Conquering fear (Last post by Kaverael)
    • Everything will happen just as it is supposed to happen. Once I fully understood that, I was able to conquer fear. My journey began when, in my darkest moment, God spoke to me and told me "everything is as it should be" (His words, not mine). Even though I knew it to be true, because I felt the truth of it in my heart, it took me many years of searching to finally understand. We have been set upon a path of discovery; whether it is a path we chose, or one that was chosen for us (depending on your point of view), it is what it is, and we must follow it to it's destination, and experience the things set out along that path. Once you realize that we must travel the road ahead, like it or not, and that there is eternal bliss waiting for us at the other side, fear becomes less of a factor. Alan Watts speaks about the battle of black and white as opposed to black vs white. Black must exist for white to be realized; for every winner there must be a loser, and we should celebrate both sides, because without the loser, there would be no winner. Every emotion has it's flip side: love/hate; hot/cold; and the flip side of fear is bliss. The emotion comes from the same place, and if you break it down, feels the same, just from a different perspective. When I feel fearful, I stop, acknowledge the emotion, and then look at the situation and chose to accept that flip side of it.
    • Amen - and its possible "origin"? (Last post by steamboat28)
    • Quote: Why do we say "amen"? What does it really mean? Does anyone really know? What do you think it means and why do you say it? It means "So be it," "May it be," or ""truly." It's an affirmation of faith in what was said before; to paraphrase Romans 4:17, it's the faith to call things that aren't as though they were, and watch them become so. Quote: Basically put, I feel that "Amen" in all of its glory and variations is simply the honoring of history’s first monotheist, the Pharaoh Akhenaten - Amen - hotep. Akhenaten - "Effective for Aten, where Aten = jtn, the Sun disk, which this ruler (who reigned during the Eighteenth Dynasty and) was instrumental in making the religious focus of his Kingdom. Amenhotep - "Amun is satisfied", where Amun = jmn, a Theban deity of some small regard, later fused with Ra to create Amun-Ra, until such time as Amenhotep IV changed his name and religion to bring Aten into the forefront. To assume that the semitic word "amen" is to praise Akenaten for being monotheistic (which isn't technically accurate) is without any linguistic support that I have seen. Most texts point to "amen" in Abrahamic faiths being derivative of the Semitic root a-m-n, which carries a meaning of "truth" or "confidence." This claim is further supported by its lack of ties to the "monotheistic" (probably more accurately henotheistic) nature of Akenaten when one realizes that most biblical scholars agree that the shift from the monolatry of the early faith to the proper monotheism of the current one came not during the era of Egyptian slavery, but instead the Babylonian captivity, something widely attributed to the immersion in the Zoroastrian faith the Hebrews found in Babylon. Quote: We was the original "sun god" and his symbol is the "sun disk" with fourteen hands coming out of it like "rays" of the sun. He is the first person in history - written and modern history to implement a "monotheistic" religion. The original sun god was the sun. Animism is evidenced as one of, if not the, primary stages in religious evolution the world over. The anthropomorphic stage, where personalities and human traits are assigned to otherwise non-sentient and inanimate objects of worship, comes later. Thus, it stands to reason that the sun predated any Sun Gods as the center of solar worship for nearly every culture on the planet. Of which Egypt is arguably not the first. Quote: Amen is perhaps a word like no other. Except for آمين, and Tolkien's násië (which may not count as a constructed language), or sooth, or vraiment or any of the other words that mean exactly the same thing and are used in much the same way. Quote: Etymologically, the word’s root is Hebrew in origin, with its use spreading to eventually encompass Christianity and Islam. Then why did this article spend so long discussing Egypt? Quote: Though religious leaders will scoff at the coincidence of the relationship of the word amen to its royal forbear, it is virtually certain that much of the Hebrew language, as well as Aramaic, was derived from earlier Egyptian. Scholar David Steinberg suggests instead that the origins of Hebrew are shared with those of other Semitic languages. Yossi Garfinkel called the oldest inscription resembling Hebrew "proto-Canaanite". In point of fact, though both Semitic and Egyptian languages are members of the Afro-Asiatic language family, they are in distinct lingual subdivisions, with languages like Hebrew and Arabic tracing their lineages back to the same place as Akkadian, rather than Egyptian. This is evidenced, at least in my mind, in that Arabic and Hebrew share their exonym of Egypt (tranliteratred as Mitzráyim in the former and Miṣr in the latter), where we know the endonym of ancient Egypt was km.t, "the Black [Land]" (one possibility for the origin of the English words "chemistry" and "alchemy"). If we look to the same color words in Hebrew, we find that the modern Hebrew word for the color is שָׁחֹר (forgive me if that's incorrect; I'm terrible with writing Hebrew) which is phonologically distinct. Quote: For Jews, Amen is also an acronym for El Melech Ne'eman, which means "Mighty, Faithful King". Technically, I think this is a backronym, as the word existed first, and then mystics took hold of it to make it "mean something." Quote: Muslims use Amen (Amin or Ameen) in the same way as Christians and Jews, even though the word does not appear in the Qur'an. Muslims say it after reciting Surah al-Fatihah, after completing their prayers, at the end of letters, etc. Among Muslims, it is apparently also used for the same intent in non-religious situations. Quote: When Christians, Jews and Muslims say Amen, they do not invoke any god or any power just by saying that word or indeed any other word. That's actually also untrue if you subscribe to the theory that our will shapes our world. It's a word of affirmation, of faith, and of telling the universe to shift itself in such a way as these things come to pass. It is not an impotent word at all. It's just misunderstood, obviously, and very misused.
    • Physical TOTJO Temple in Texas Project (Last post by Akkarin)
    • If what makes sense for right now is the construction of a physical building and the expansion of our membership then that is what we ought to do. Worrying about a future that is not here yet, and may indeed never come to pass, won't do us any good right now. Let's assume that we do create something great and that in time it does indeed start breaking down (through separation or corruption etc), well that is for Jedi of that time to contend with, it won't change any of the Good we are able to do now will it? If at some other now what is needed is for our Temple to separate itself then that's what our Temple will do, it isn't like such things haven't already happened in the wider Jedi community, including at our Temple. If we wish to invest in the future to try and prevent the worst parts of any "split" then there are steps we can do also, by creating writings and book and such (which will doubtless be done in due course) to address the points that might be brought up. If every organisation got hung up on what "might" happen in its future with regards to abandoning the original virtues, then every organisation ought to just stop all its functioning right now.
    • Be water, my friend (Last post by Streen)
    • This is an excerpt from a book I read a long time ago, and started reading again recently. It think it's probably the most powerful lesson in the book: Quote: When the ancients and their students stopped to rest by a pure flowing stream, the teachers compared Tao to water. Water is flowing. Every drop is made of the same substance. Water never fears being divided, because it knows it will flow back together in time. It is eternal. Water is powerful. Although it can be soothing, comforting, and cleansing, it can also be enormous, mighty, and overpowering. It's nature is constant. It is true to itself at any extreme. Water is profound. In the depths of the lakes, in the darkness of the oceans, it holds all secrets. It is dangerous. It is mysterious. Yet life came from those depths. Water is unafraid. From any height, it will plunge fearlessly down. It will fall and not be injured. Water is balanced. No matter what the situation is, water will seek its own level as soon as it is left alone. Water will always flow downward to the most stable level. It conforms to any situation in a balanced way. Water is nourishing. Without water, no plant and no living creature could survive. Water is still. It can be completely still, and in its stillness, mirror heaven perfectly. Water is pure. It is transparent, clear, needing neither adornment nor augmentation. For all these features—to be flowing, powerful, profound, unafraid, balanced, nourishing, still, and pure—one who would follow Tao need only emulate water in every way.
    • Holy Place (Last post by Streen)
    • At first, when I read this, I thought it was silly. But as I read all the replies, I have to say that libraries could definitely be "temples" for the Jedi. I can't say I would call them "holy places", because I think holiness is something you bring with you, not something that exists inherently at any location. (as per my signature)
    • Antares Launch Failure (Last post by Adder)
    • Quote: I remember being late for work watching the last Mars landing, this one will be absolutely mind-blowing if they manage it! Seen this yet!? Nice way to advertise the mission, looks like they are using 'the Force' :woohoo: :side: I posted it on the wall yesterday, but couldnt resist posting it again here
    • Jediism vs Jedi Realist (Last post by WRThore)
    • I would have to also say that I am an agnostic when it comes to many things of 'faith' or 'religion' ... but I do see that the Jedi philosophy is a wonderful way to live life. It has many great characteristics of a humanistic nature. When I found that there was a structure to what I believed, and someone called it 'Jedi' ... I was hooked to the idea and philosophy. I agree that religion vs way of life doesn't matter one bit. Semantics really ... A Jedi is a Jedi ... and that is all we need as far as understanding. To be a Jedi is take the philosophy and make it your own, that is why it can be incorporated into any other religious faith. Internalize this system and use it to enrich yourself ... this is a great discussion.
    • Live Service - Saturday 1st November 2014 at 20:00... (Last post by Arkayik)
    • Quote: This should help - all times for all time zones for the event can be found here: Event Time Announcer (I realise it says GMT instead of UTC... it's the same thing.. I went with what I could make work) Wow! I have tech-envy! Great idea...
    • Tattoos and Jedi? (Last post by den385)
    • I've made 4 tattoos and stopped - for that was the plan. It's the ~Phoenix-in-the-sun sigil from the SW on the left shoulder, then a sigil I carefully made up myself to represent the idea of the Prometheus fire on the right shoulder and two small encoded-text tattoos on wrists. Something like trigger-words for quick meditation.
    • Jedi Altar (Last post by Cyan Sarden)
    • I personally believe that having an altar (or a shrine - perhaps that'd be a better way of calling it as few of us will do animal sacrifices at home :-) as a mini-retreat / quiet, personal place at home can be beneficial. I've read before that some Buddhist teachers encourage your to have one, simply as an incentive / reminder to practice meditation. Yes, meditation should become an integral part of the inner self, like breathing. But it's still nice to have a place in your home that gives you strength and peace and that keeps you going, especially in the beginning.

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